Would you consume 16 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting? Most of us would answer this question with a flat out ‘NO’ but we wouldn’t hesitate to guzzle down an iced cold bottle of soft drink on a hot summer day. Well, 16 TEASPOONS is the amount of sugar in a regular bottle of soft drink (Yes, you read that right). I have to admit that I was once a soft-drink addict and while I knew soft drinks were bad, I would never have imagined that one bottle contained SO MUCH sugar.
This is where many of us go wrong. While we focus on eating healthier, we tend to forget to keep track of the amount of sugar we consume through the beverages we drink on a regular basis. Even the drinks that many of us consider “healthier” options like flavoured water, sports drinks and fruit juices (yep, even freshly squeezed) contain high amounts of sugar.
So if you want to drink yourself fat, then sugary drinks are definitely the way to go. They lack nutritional value, are full of empty calories and don’t really quench your thirst (which drinking is essentially about, right?). What’s more concerning is that overconsumption of sugary drinks can lead to obesity, and increases your risks of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Consuming sugary soft-drinks has also been linked to tooth decay and erosion, as well as premature ageing. Alarmingly, Australians are one of the biggest consumers of sweetened beverages and in 2006, Australia was among the top 10 countries for per capita consumption of soft drinks.
So if you have a weakness for sweetened beverages, I’d say now is the right time to give up your sweet poison. Remember that consuming excessive amounts of sugar in any form can wreak havoc for your health and if you are looking to quench your thirst, water is best.
TIP: If you can’t resist the urge to drink sweetened beverages, try mixing a splash of 100%fruit juice with sparkling water. That way you can significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your drink and keep the calorie count low.